The eastern German state of Saxony is presenting new problems for the country’s political establishment, with new polling showing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) reaching a new record high, while the Social Democrats (SPD) would be entirely kicked out of state parliament.
The new poll from the research institute Civey showed the AfD at 37 percent of the vote, rising four points since the last poll four weeks ago. Meanwhile, the SPD would obtain an abysmal 3 percent of the vote. Five years ago, the party still achieved 7.7 percent.
If the left-wing SPD were to achieve such a result, it would mark the first time since the Second World War that the SPD failed to achieve the 5 percent threshold in a federal state, which means it would be entirely removed from parliament. Such a result would place new pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Neueste Civey-Umfrage für #Sachsen. Hat die CDU schon ihren sächsischen Wählern mitgeteilt, dass sie die nächste Regierung in einer Koalition mit "Die Linke" und den Grünen bilden will? ? @cdusachsen pic.twitter.com/JSWbV7kEGc— Peter Borbe (@PeterBorbe) January 2, 2024
The Christian Democrats (CDU) scored 32 percent, putting them in second place. The CDU, which currently governs the state with the SPD and Greens, would no longer be able to maintain its coalition. If the elections were held today, and the CDU party maintained its self-declared “firewall” against the AfD, it could then only govern with a coalition of the Left party and Greens.
Such a result would place extreme pressure on the CDU, as the party has also traditionally rejected any alliance with the Left Party.
Saxony will hold its elections in approximately eight months, on Sept. 1, 2024, and there are fears from the German political establishment that some eastern states will be ungovernable without including AfD in coalition governments.
In response to the popularity of the AfD, there are now ongoing attempts to ban the party outright, including efforts from CDU MP Marco Wanderwitz, who was defeated by an AfD candidate in his home district.
“We are dealing with a party that seriously endangers our free democratic basic order and the state as a whole,” which is why “it is high time to ban them,” said Wanderwitz during an appearance on ARD’s public television program last year.